#Wired2015: Hollywood makes technologies happen

Wired 2015 kicked off in usual style with some considerable heartstring pulling and “what’s your excuse?” style nudges from speakers like Arunima Sinha, the first female amputee to scale Everest, and Avi Yaron — who created the a 3D medical camera because no-one else had what was needed to look at the tumour in his brain.

Attendees were given glimpses into the real lives of slum-dwellers, the real Brazil under a demi-president drug lord, and a thought-providing look at what it really takes to get Guerrillas to change their minds deep in the jungles of Columbia. If you want to see thinking differently in action, watch the Rivers of Light mini film.

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My highlight of the first session rounded out with a jaw-dropping look at SCiO, an Israel-based startup that was crowdfunded and is now creating the consumer-facing version of what is essential every Star Trek watchers dream…the tricorder.

Instead of providing medical diagnoses, this device takes about 10 seconds (under 4G connection) to identify what it is pointing at. The demo given on stage was “is it Viagra or is not…”, Beyond this though, the possibilities and applications for the technology are staggering.

Here’s the promo video:

Some takeaways:

Hollywood makes technologies happen

Yaron pointed out his device was about three years too early – “people didn’t understand 3D video before Avatar”. Understanding the complex relationship that outside forces have on technology adoption has never been more applicable – read Sex, Bombs and Burgers to understand the relationships and you’ll have a better shot at predicting the future:

Consumer journey focus is everything — sometimes you have to throw the book away

You may think you have a touch consumer to get to, but changing minds in the jungle of Columbia meant throwing out the wagging finger and megaphone in favour of appealing to hearts and minds. This was no John Lewis ad, it was a deep rooted ploy to change behaviour based on a deep understanding of cultural values.

Databases are an opportunity and a risk

When you hear that someone has created a “global database of matter” you have to fight the urge to only think “amazing”. There are deep rooted issues of control, validation and security with anything that grand and whilst a huge opportunity there are inevitably down sides or potential issues. Naturally these issues shouldn’t stop progress but understanding all sides of an argument will help you form opinions, analyse the opportunities for your business and navigate around it.

If you want to follow the tweets of Wired 2015 – search the hashtag #wired2015 (see below) or head here to watch some of the talks live streamed on Telefonica’s Public Policy blog

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